In this introductory lesson, students will explore the different parts of a journalistic article to determine what makes a good newspaper or magazine story. Students will begin by brainstorming a list of elements that make an article visually, textually, and emotionally engaging. Students then will use that list to examine multiple articles about the activism of NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom. After analyzing statements about journalistic writing, students will create a headline mock-up about Enes Kanter Freedom's activism to demonstrate how an author uses informational text structures to support their purpose. Finally, students will evaluate an article to determine whether it has all the elements covered in the lesson. This is the first of four lessons in "The K20 Chronicle" journalism unit.
What are the components of a journalistic article? What makes a good article? How do you create an engaging story?
Students brainstorm a list of elements that make an article visually, textually, and emotionally engaging.
Students examine multiple articles about the activism of NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom. Students determine if the articles have any of the qualities they listed at the start of the lesson.
Students use the Always, Sometimes, or Never True strategy to analyze statements about journalistic writing.
Students create a mock-up, top-of-the-fold headline about Enes Kanter Freedom's activism to demonstrate how an author uses informational text structures to support their purpose.
Students evaluate an article about the 2022 Winter Olympics boycott. Students use a rubric to determine whether the article has all the elements covered in the lesson.
Lesson Slides (attached)
Always, Sometimes, or Never True (attached; one per student)
Front Page (attached; one per student)
Example of Front Page (attached; optional)
Article Rubric (attached; one per student)
Highlighters (three different colors for each student)
Computers (iMacs are preferred)
Articles about Enes Kanter Freedom (linked; at least one article per student)
"Enes Kanter Freedom: NBA star changes name to celebrate US citizenship"
"NBA 'begged' Enes Freedom to take off shoes that criticized China"
"Enes Kanter wears shoes accusing Nike of slave labor during Celtics game"
Articles about the 2022 Winter Olympics boycott (linked; one article per student)
"The Diplomatic Boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, Explained"
"Beijing 2022: Athletes warned about speaking out on human rights"
"How the U.S. Boycott of the Beijing Olympics Is Splitting the World"
"Opinion: Anyone can boycott the Beijing Olympics. Everyone should."
"What a US diplomatic boycott against the Beijing Olympics will entail"
"How much does the diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 matter?"
"Beijing 2022: Human rights groups call for Winter Olympic boycott"
Introduce the lesson using the attached Lesson Slides and explain to students that this is the start of a unit on journalism. Display slide 3 to share the essential questions and slide 4 to go over the lesson’s learning objectives.
Go to slide 5 and ask students to think about the best newspaper or magazine articles they’ve read before, either in print or online. Ask students the following questions:
What does a good article look like?
What does a good article sound like?
How does a good article make you feel?
As students share out, write their responses on the chart paper. Keep this class list posted for use in the next section of the lesson.
Display slide 6. Ask students if they know who Enes Kanter Freedom is, what information they already know or might want to know about him, and whether there’s anything interesting or surprising about him.
Go to slide 7. Pass out the linked articles about Enes Kanter Freedom and explain the Categorical Highlighting strategy to students. As students read their articles, have them refer to the class list they created in the last activity and highlight any elements of a "good" article as follows:
Looks Like: Highlight pink.
Sounds Like: Highlight blue.
Feels Like: Highlight yellow.
Once students have finished reading and highlighting, have students each turn to an elbow partner and share some of the elements they highlighted in their articles. Then, have a whole-class discussion centered on the following questions:
Were there any similarities in what you and your partner highlighted?
Were there any major differences?
What stood out to you the most?
After the discussion, ask students if there is anything they want to add to their class list of what makes a "good" article. Invite students to share out while you write the additional elements on the chart paper.
Transition through slides 8–11 to show students pictures of some of Enes Kanter Freedom’s shoes.
Display slide 12. Pass out the attached Always Sometimes, or Never True handout to students and explain the Always, Sometimes, or Never True strategy. Ask students to read each statement carefully and decide if it is always true, sometimes true, or never true. Once they decide, they need to write a justification for why they made that selection.
If students struggle to provide justification right away, that’s okay! You may give them the opportunity to work in pairs to fill out the handout. Alternatively, you may invite students to work through the statements as a class while you facilitate their discussion.
Transition through slides 13–22 to reveal the most accurate choice for each question. If you would like to provide students with further explanation of certain statements, see the note below.
Display slide 23 and pass out the attached Front Page handout or have students open the document on their computers. Inform students they are going to use the information they’ve learned so far to create their own start to an article based on what they’ve read about Enes Kanter Freedom’s activism.
Display slide 24. Pass out the attached Article Rubric and one of the linked Winter Olympics boycott articles to each student. Let students know it’s their turn to score an article and determine whether it’s "good" based on the rubric.
Before concluding the lesson, inform students that this same rubric will be used at the end of the journalism unit to score their final projects.
Aabram, V. (2021, October 27). Enes Kanter wears shoes accusing Nike of slave labor during Celtics game. Washington Examiner. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/enes-kanter-freedom-shoes
Al Jazeera. (2022, January 19). Beijing 2022: Athletes warned about speaking out on human rights. Al Jazeera Media Network. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/19/winter-olympics-athletes-human-rights-protests-beijing-2022
BBC. (2021, November 30). Enes Kanter Freedom: NBA star changes name to celebrate US citizenship. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/59439797
Cha, V. (2022, January 18). The Biden boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Center for Strategic and International Studies. https://www.csis.org/analysis/biden-boycott-2022-beijing-winter-olympics
Everington, K. (2021, October 26). Photo of the day: NBA star sports 'free China' shoes. Taiwan News. https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4326221
Farris, A. (2021, December 8). NBA 'begged' Enes Freedom to take off shoes that criticized China. Fox News. https://www.foxnews.com/sports/nba-begged-enes-freedom-to-take-off-shoes-that-criticized-china
de Guzman, C. (2021, December 16). How the U.S. boycott of the Beijing Olympics is splitting the world. Time. https://time.com/6129154/beijing-olympics-boycott/
Hill, J. (2021, December 3). Enes Kanter Freedom is letting himself be used. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/12/enes-kanter-freedom-letting-himself-be-used/620900/
Kelly, L. (2021, October 31). Meet the artist behind Enes Kanter's anti-Beijing Shoes. The Hill. https://thehill.com/policy/international/579207-meet-the-artist-behind-enes-kanters-anti-beijing-shoes
K20 Center. (n.d.). Always, sometimes, or never true. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/145
K20 Center. (n.d.). Categorical highlighting. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/192
K20 Center. (n.d.). Looks like, sounds like, feels like. Strategies. https://learn.k20center.ou.edu/strategy/88
Lane, C. (2021, December 28). Opinion: Anyone can boycott the Beijing Olympics. Everyone should. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/12/28/boycott-nbc-sports-beijing-winter-olympics-2022/
Maizland, L. (2021, December 6). The debate over boycotting the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Council on Foreign Relations. https://www.cfr.org/in-brief/debate-over-boycotting-2022-beijing-olympics
Mather, V. (2021, December 9). The diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, explained. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/article/diplomatic-boycott-olympics.html
Roan, D. (2021, December 13). How much does the diplomatic boycott of Beijing 2022 matter? BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-59646231
Roan, D., & Capstick, A. (2021, February 4). Beijing 2022: Human rights groups call for Winter Olympic boycott. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-55938034
Vinopal, C. (2021, December 6). What a US diplomatic boycott against the Beijing Olympics will entail. Quartz Media. https://qz.com/2098823/what-a-us-diplomatic-boycott-of-the-beijing-olympics-looks-like/